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National Poll Results: Biden, Sanders, and Buttigieg Lead, Majority Support “Medicare For All”

Change Research
Apr 18, 2019 · 4 min read

Change Research recently polled 2,518 likely Democratic primary voters nationwide, revealing new leaders in the race to the Democratic nomination and insight into voters’ attitudes on health care.

Biden, Sanders, and Buttigieg Close to Tying for the Nationwide Lead

Joe Biden has a slim one-point lead at 21%, followed closely by Bernie Sanders (20%) and Pete Buttigieg (17%). Beto O’Rourke finishes a distant fourth with 9%, followed by Elizabeth Warren (8%), Kamala Harris (7%), Stacey Abrams (4%), and Cory Booker (4%). All other candidates poll at 2% or less.

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Democratic nomination horse race, 2,518 likely Democratic voters — includes Biden/Abrams

These results represent a dramatic rise in popularity for Buttigieg. In our last nationwide poll conducted March 8–10, he polled at only 2%.

When asked to choose a candidate who has formally announced their run, eliminating Biden and Abrams from consideration, 26% of voters choose Sanders, followed by Buttigieg (21%), O’Rourke (14%), Harris and Warren (10%), Booker (5%), and Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Yang (3%). All other candidates poll at 2% or less.

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Democratic nomination horse race, 2,518 likely Democratic voters — does not include Biden/Abrams

Biden Loses 15%, Buttigieg Gains 15%

Our last nationwide poll was conducted March 8–10, 2019, providing a benchmark against which to compare our most recent nationwide results. In slightly more than one month, Biden and Buttigieg tie for the largest shifts in support, but in different directions: Biden has dropped 15% (narrowly retaining first place), while Buttigieg has surged 15% to enter the top three. Sanders has dropped 4%, while all other candidates have moved 2% or less in either direction.

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Change in nationwide vote share, March 8–10 vs. April 12–15, 2019

82% of Democratic Voters Find Their Insurance At Least “Acceptable”

The plurality of Democratic voters (22%) select health care as the most important issue to them in the upcoming election. However, their concern about health care is not driven by dissatisfaction with their own insurance plans. 82% rate theirs as at least acceptable, and 54% rate it as excellent or good. Just 15% say their coverage is poor. 70% say they have been continuously covered the last five years.

Despite these acceptable insurance conditions, 62% say that they or someone in their household has struggled to cover the costs of health care.

Majority of Democratic Voters Support “Medicare for All”

Solid majorities support a “Medicare for All” or single-payer system:

  • 84% support a national government health care plan called “Medicare for All,” in which all Americans would get their health insurance through a single government plan
  • 62% say that working towards a single-payer or “Medicare for All” system is the best path forward for the US health care system
  • 68% disagree with the statement “‘Medicare for All’ is not practical”
  • 96% oppose allowing health insurance providers to charge more expensive premiums for individuals with pre-existing conditions
  • 92% believe the government should regulate the prices of life-saving medicine

Health Care and the 2020 Race

71% of Democratic voters are more likely to vote for a candidate if the candidate supports “Medicare for All.” 69% would be less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes “Medicare for All” and a public option. 35% would be less likely to support a candidate who favors a public option but opposes “Medicare for All.”

Democratic voters rate Bernie Sanders as their preferred candidate on health care issues (66%), followed by Elizabeth Warren (54%), Joe Biden (49%), Kamala Harris (37%), Beto O’Rourke (36%), and Pete Buttigieg (34%).

Click here for full poll toplines.

Change Research surveyed 2,518 likely 2020 Democratic primary voters nationwide from April 12–15, 2019. The survey was conducted online, using Change Research’s Bias Correct Engine. Post-stratification was done on age, gender, ethnicity, and 2016 presidential vote. The margin of error, as traditionally calculated, is ± 2.2%.

This is one of over 100 polls Change Research will be conducting this year as part of our 2020 Change polling subscription product. Most will be available to subscribers only. Please contact us for more information.

Change Research

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